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Johnny Butler “The Sunbather”

(Artist Bio) | September 29, 2022
two people on a beach

Commemorating the release of his astonishing new album, JOHNNY BUTLER, is pleased to reveal the official video for its title track: “The Sunbather”.

Written and directed by Johnny Butler himself, the video, like its musical counterpart, is an outlandish and mesmeric experience to behold.

Documenting the birth of “The Sunbather”, a character who basks in the vibrant light at the heart of Butler’s latest work; the official video may offer some illumination on the many mysteries surrounding this enigmatic new record. Or it may not. As Butler says:

“The Sunbather does not soak in the sun, he lays in a bath of noise. The Sunbather is a dance, a film, a song, a person. He is me, of me, and not me at all.”

A thing of Lynchian weirdness and startling beauty, the new visuals interweave elegant choreography, surrealist cinematography and, of course, Butler’s otherworldly soundscapes.

Shot at C’Mon Everybody in New York City (which was also the venue that hosted Butler’s recent launch show), the expert choreography was arranged by Alex Oliva. Cinematography was undertaken by Laurel Bear, who also directed a horror film entitled “The Sunbather” last year (with Butler in turn providing this track towards its score). The striking “The Sunbather” costume was designed by Allison Dyke.
Receiving early praise from The Big Issue who admired the “stirring, entracing quality to Butler’s music that draws you in and keep you hold” and Vanguard Magazine who hailed that the “textures are mesmerizing and the technique quite awesome”, ‘The Sunbather’ is the convention-shredding new album from Johnny Butler (out now, via Hi4Head Records).

The follow-up to 2020’s critically acclaimed ‘Thirteen Dances’, it sees the NYC saxophonist, technologist, dancer and composer return with 11 songs of his pioneering brand of cosmic jazz. A radiant and radical addition to his oeuvre, ‘The Sunbather’ is a concept album of maverick instrumentals tied together by its eponymously titled central protagonist.

Like its predecessor, all of the songs on ‘The Sunbather’ were performed by Butler in single takes using just a tenor saxophone, a handful of electronic devices, breathing techniques, and body movement (with the exception of “It’s Fine” – which was performed on a Korg Prologue). All of the music was also performed live with no edits, no overdubs, no samples, no loops, and no pre-recorded materials.

With a palpable sense of drama and movement, nine of the eleven songs here were initially written for a number of dance productions and films released throughout 2021.

With all songs written and performed by Johnny Butler, the album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Julian Picado and Francisco Gonzalez in November-December 2021.

A work of an often searing beauty and intimidating presence that demands you to bask in its aura, ‘The Sunbather’ by Johnny Butler is out now on Hi4head Records.

-Official bio

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